The Maillard reaction in an ancient linen cloth can yield a “stochastic-like effect” image
Recently, we have pointed out that the distribution of the yellowed fibrils on the Shroud of Turin, well represented by a linear regression between the image intensity and the cloth-body distance, has a stochastic aspect. In this paper, by a preliminary approach, we show that the chemical reaction between reducing sugar coming from the linen manufacturing procedure (mainly composed of crude starch and possibly also Saponaria officinalis) and some specific post-mortem gases like ammonia and/or diamines that could have been released by the corpse who was enveloped in the Shroud can yield a “stochastic-like effect” image. Moreover, we think the above reaction could also explain why the body image on the Shroud is a unicum.
The study of the Shroud, which includes decades of scientific research, still leaves some questions open. Among them, a very important one is the mechanism that led to the formation of a body image on the Linen of Turin. This mechanism should be the main goal of Shroud research. The difficulty to understand how the image was imprinted on the cloth’s surface is mainly due to the complexity of its physical and chemical characteristics (1-6).
Some researchers still believe that the Shroud is nothing else than a medieval forgery realized in Europe by an artist/forger. On the contrary to such an opinion, we are certain that the Shroud of Turin cannot be a false relic crafted by a medieval forger. Indeed, the STURP team has demonstrated, in definitive manner, that the Shroud of Turin is a real burial cloth that enveloped a real crucified corpse for a short period of time and the image on it must have come from some kind of interaction between this tortured body and the cloth’s surface. Indeed, among their conclusions, they wrote: “The data, taken together, do not support the hypothesis that the image on the Shroud is due to an artist ...